It was a walk down memory lane for this centenarian during a felicitation meet to mark his 100th birthday at RC Moradabad Midtown. And for over 60 years, this physician, affectionately called the Bhishm Pitamah, strived to deliver healthcare to the poor with a humane touch through his club in D 3100. Rotarians recalled his selfless work at the meeting that coincided with his birthday on October 2.
Dr Janki Saran Rastogi was drawn towards the ideals of Rotary when he had a chance to witness a club meeting presided over by a senior lawyer Dr K S Mathur, way back in 1954. That was his first brush with a Rotary activity at the age of 38. “Seeing Rotarians do service projects and the fellowship among them inspired me to join Rotary, which has helped me achieve my ambitions in life,” says the doctor who got his degree from the King George Medical College, Lucknow.
Also called the Rotarian of the Millennium, he is a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow and has dedicated his life for the eradication of tuberculosis, improving eyecare and educating children. In 1967, he became the President of RC Moradabad and drafted its Constitution. He is a member of Rotary Cancer Foundation which was promoted by the then undivided District 3100 at AIIMS, New Delhi.
100% attendance till date
During his time, putting in 100 per cent attendance in Rotary meetings was considered a big achievement and Dr Rastogi has never failed to mark his presence at club meetings and projects. He has been the guiding force of all Rotary activities in Moradabad over the past five decades. He joined RC Moradabad Midtown in 1992 in which he is still a member. The club adopted him as an Honorary Rotarian in 2012 and even today, he attends all meetings of his club with enthusiasm.
A watershed event in his Rotary life was taking part in the New Orleans RI Convention in 1976 with PRIP Rajendra K Saboo, the then DG of 3100. “I have attended about 25 Rotary meetings abroad — mostly they were in the US and it showed me universal brotherhood and the international face of Rotary,” he says. He has addressed Rotary clubs in the US several times, and participated in the Inter-District meet in Kathmandu (1983) and Asian Regional Conferences in Delhi.
Dr Rastogi and his family have donated Rs 51,000 for cataract operations and adopted a school under the Happy School project of RILM. “Never miss an opportunity when it knocks on your door,” he tells young Rotarians. He attributes his long years to “a disciplined life of daily routine and a balanced diet.”
Excel and work for society
His wife Kusum was past chairman of Inner Wheel (D 3100). The couple has two sons and a daughter.
To the young Rotarians, he has this piece of advice: First excel and be ethical in your profession and then look beyond yourself to work for society.